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We can't bury our heads when it comes to right-wing extremism

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06.08.2019

On Sunday a wave of sadness consumed me as I saw Dayton, Ohio – where I attended university and lived for seven years – become the latest site of a mass shooting in the United States.

Blocks from my old neighbourhood, nine people had been killed and 27 injured in less than 30 seconds.

Hours earlier, 20 people had been killed in El Paso, Texas, with the shooter reportedly inspired by the Christchurch attacks, according to a white nationalist, anti-immigrant manifesto posted online.

Mourners at a vigil in Dayton, Ohio, after the mass shooting there. Credit:AP

When speaking of similar attacks, JM Berger from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism wrote: "The heady marriage of words to action makes old hatreds new again … these blood-infused manifestos are seeds that sprout twisted roots from which new mutations eventually grow. Scattered by the winds of our ever-more-networked communities, some will land on fertile ground."

In El Paso, what began as ugly rhetoric online sprouted twisted roots and turned into an even uglier, violent reality.

It’s in these tragic moments we should be thankful for the reforms made by John Howard following the Port Arthur massacre. If there is one thing Australians agree on, it is our robust, comprehensive and hopefully........

© The Sydney Morning Herald